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Ian Happ wins arbitration hearing vs. Cubs

He’ll get paid what he asked for, for 2021.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The last unsigned arbitration-eligible Cub became signed Friday:

Like a lot of arbitration cases, there wasn’t that much of a difference between the two figures, just $850,000. You’d think the Cubs and Ian Happ might have been able to meet in the middle, but that didn’t happen.

Happ made $603,500 (before proration) in 2020, and had a pretty good season: .258/.361/.505 (51-for-198) with 12 home runs in 57 games.

That might have been better had he not accidentally hit himself in the face with a foul ball in Pittsburgh in early September.

Before being hit: .311/.421/.648 (38-for-122), 10 home runs
After being hit: .171/.259/.276 (13-for-76), one home run

Obviously both of those are fairly small sample sizes, but clearly Happ was affected in some way by that foul ball. He missed just one game as a result. Presuming he’s healthy in 2021, I expect big things from him.

The last Cubs arbitration case that went to a hearing was Justin Grimm’s, in 2018. The Cubs won that one, though there was an even smaller difference between Grimm’s ask ($2.475 million) and the team’s offer ($2.2 million).

The team will eventually renew the contracts of all their pre-arbitration players and then the entire roster will be under contract for 2021.